Online functionality for Nintendo Wii and DS to be discontinued

Nintendo revealed today that the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, the service that facilitates online functionality in Wii and DS games, will be discontinued March 20. More information and a list of affected games can be found at Nintendo of America’s website.

Games like “Mario Kart DS” on the DS handeld console and “Super Smash Bros. Brawl” on the Wii console will be left with online-multiplayer features that are completely unusable after the shutdown of the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service. 

The shutdown of service will not affect Wii or DS games’ single-player experiences, and applications like Netflix and Hulu Plus will not be affected. Wii U and 3DS games will also be unaffected, as this particular service only applies to games made for Wii and DS.

Nintendo has never been known for their strong presence in the online-multiplayer side of gaming. The company uses Friend Codes, long strings of random numbers, instead of easily identifiable user names like those associated with Xbox Live, Steam or the PlayStation Network, and only recently unified the account system between the Wii U and 3DS consoles.